Pirates win John Altobelli Park opener with 8-3 triumph over Warriors

Pirates win John Altobelli Park opener with 8-3 triumph over Warriors

COSTA MESA -- El Camino College may have won the war this week, but the Orange Coast College baseball team won the battle on Saturday, topping the Warriors, 8-3, at the newly-named John Altobelli Park.

Following a pair of tough losses to the Warriors (2-1) earlier this week (4-1 on Thursday and 8-5 on Friday), the Pirates (1-2) picked up some much-needed offensive punch and held the opposition to just three runs to avoid the sweep. ECC still took home the inaugural Memorial Cup trophy for winning 2-of-3 this week and the two teams will play this series every year to honor the loss of Altobelli as well as ECC catcher Sladen Mohl, who died during the 2019 season.

Alex Talamante, who came into the game in the top of the first following an injury to starting left fielder Ricky Teel, went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI for the Pirates, Emilio Morales came through with the BIG hit the jump-started the Pirates offense. In the bottom of the sixth, with OCC trailing, 3-2, Morales lifted a one-out, two-run double down the left-field line that put the Pirates up for good. Two matters later, Talamante's RBI-double put OCC ahead, 5-3. 

Jake Lappin ripped a double down the right-field line in the bottom of the seventh to score Garrett Bevacqua, who singled earlier in the inning, to put Coast up, 6-3.

Coast took advantage of some erratic relief pitching in the bottom of the eighth as Cary Arbolida made it 7-3 with a bases-loaded walk and Logan Jackson closed out the scoring with an RBI-sacrifice fly that scored Talamante from third.

The back end of the bullpen was lights out for the Pirates. Sean Bolin came into the game in the top of the seventh and pitched two scoreless and hitless innings, before Matt Maloney closed out the ninth, allowing a hit, while striking out the side.

Bevacqua and Jordan Ku each went 2-for-4 for Coast. Ben Griffin and Jorge Renteria collected two hits apiece for the Warriors.

Starter Cameron Mahaffy pitched effectively for the Pirates, allowing just two runs on three hits with six strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. 

Coast will travel to College of the Canyons on Tuesday (2 p.m.) before returning to John Altobelli Park to open a three-game series with Cuesta College on Thursday, beginning at 2 p.m.